Tag: Faith

WHAT NOW?

Now what? asks grieving husband at the crossroads

A WAY OUT OR A DEAD END?

I have reached the What do I do now? stage in my life.

Well, not me exactly, but a guy named Billy Boy, a creation of Renata de Dios, whose name, curiously enough, translates as Born again of God.

Billy Boy—I’ll just call him Bill—watches a lot of movies on TV. The other night he re-watched The Candidate with Robert Redford.

Bill is not comparing himself to Robert Redford of course, but that question he asks at the end of the movie — What do we do now? — is, in a different context, Bill’s question, and that empty hotel room in the last shot is the equivalent of his once-upon-a-time living room, now known as the dead room, and it is the equivalent of his wife’s empty armchair,

Empty chairs

and it is the equivalent of his empty house, and to stretch it to a melodramatic point, the equivalent of his life now, without his wife, who for thirty-four years was his life.

Renata de Dios tells Billy he’s at a Crossroads, and to take the road that leads to God, but his irreligious mind doesn’t even know where to start looking, and so he continues to drink and tells her in a late-night phone call, What has been lost is now found, but now found is lost.

To which Renata replies, Plato-like, I’m not sure I understand your meaning, Socrates.

There’s nothing to understand, of course, because the utterance is sheer 80-proof nonsense.

Last night Bill re-watched the movie The Verdict, and was particularly interested when Paul Newman gave his wonderful summation and spoke these words,

In my religion we say, act as if you have faith and faith will be given to you.

Okay, Bill will buy a ticket to that, but how exactly do you act as if you have faith? — pray, read C.S. Lewis and other spiritual literature, go to church, keep an open mind? He’s been doing all those things — and yet still nothing. He’s willing to try anything — suspension of belief, drugs, insanity, enlist the aid of the Silver Surfer — anything that will bring him closer to his wife.

So, the question remains, now what?

Take a Flyer on Faith

It goes against everything I ever believed

But I am so inconsolably bereaved

By the death of my wife so suddenly taken

My sole soulmate by “merciful God” forsaken

That I am prepared to suspend disbelief

To free myself from this insufferable grief

And do whatever I need to get to God

And if faith is to be my connecting rod

I will embrace it for whatever it’s worth

It’s bound to be better than this hell on earth.


Work in progress on the road to God

Since the death of my wife, I spend my nights drinking gin and watching old movies. In other words, I live in a fantasy world of make-believe and mayhem, depending on the movie.

It’s preferable to the world of reality and the endless grief of living without my life’s companion.

There’s another fantasy world out there — way out there — revolving around the uncorroborated hope that when we die, or sometime thereafter, loved ones and soulmates and husbands and wives will be reunited in a realm or sphere or dimension or phenomenon or heaven or whatever, hidden somewhere in the space-time continuum of the wondrous and unimaginably miraculous universe.

All of which was sheer nonsense I used to think, before I received a totally unexpected phone call last month from a long lost friend from the 1980s when my wife and I lived in Miami Beach.

The friend who called from out of the past — her name is Renata (I love that name) — believes that my “uncorroborated hope” is reality and that it will happen, if one believes, and even, I suppose, if one doesn’t believe.

As far as Renata is concerned, I am a work in progress. All I know is, I’m feeling a whole lot less suicidal than I did before she called.

And here’s the kicker, as an old reporter like me would say, the full name of the person who called from out of the blue at my time of suicidal depression, is Renata de Dios.

If you don’t know Spanish, look it up. And while you’re about it, look up: Dios se mueve de maneras misteriosas.